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Great Gatsby In Comparison To Catcher In The Rye

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Great Gatsby vs. Holden Caulfield

The Great Gatsby written By F.Scott Fitzgerald is a novel about people, mainly Gatsby’s idea of the �American dream’ which can be compared easily to The Catcher in the Rye By J.D Salinger. Nick and Jay Gatsby are similar to Holden Caulfield. Nick is like Holden in the fact that they both share ideas of having expectations of people and hope, even though society constantly lets them down with multiple examples showing how people act in their natural state. Gatsby and Holden are much alike because they both have these fond ideas of women and their illusion of their American dreams, with Holden its Jane and with Gatsby its Daisy but they are both disappointed when they realize their ideas are just ideas and nothing more.

Nick Carraway and Holden Caulfield is both opposite in the sense of personalities, Nick is very honest, “Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am of the few honest people that I have ever known.”(Fitzgerald 69). Holden Caulfield is the exact opposite, “I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible.” (J.D. Salinger Chapter 3). Although their personalities are polar opposites they some how believe that there is a good in every one and in everything.

“For Nick, Gatsby's lies, his pretensions, and his corruption are "no matter"; nor is his failure to win back Daisy; what matters is the sustaining belief in the value of striving for a "wondrous" object, not its inevitable disappearance and meaninglessness.” (Will). Holden Caulfield and Nick Carraway Believe not in what people strive for, but their passion while doing it. If it’s strong enough , that it what gives others hope and what makes someone good , to have the will power and strength to go after what they desire whether it be women or protecting kids, despite the fact of their past. “He smiled understandingly- much more than understandingly. It was one of Those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it …it understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood , believe in you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hope to convey. (Fitzgerald 48)” Even though Gatsby bootlegged liquor and ran over a lot of people to get where he was, he was viewed as in overall good person because he had a heart and had passion to do all those unjust activities just to get to daisy. A good example of this is although Holden had вЂ?bad’ self image , he was careless ,switched schools often and had little self respect they liked to view him as a good person overall because he wanted to save the innocence of children.

“The Catcher in the Rye is a genuine initiation tale, even though it is only the candidate undergoing the ordeal who is conscious of what his final decision means; the real evidence of the decadence of his world is that the initiators who impose the ordeals upon him are too much wrapped up in themselves even to understand the meaning of their actions. (French)”. In the book, there are many people that have affected Holden’s life so deeply and they are unaware of this fact, like Allie. Allie is what makes Holden the way he is because of him Holden has taken a likeness to contain the innocence of children for them no to go out into reality because he doesn’t want to see children’s dreams to be shattered like his was. This quote can also be compared to Gatsby because daisy has a huge affect on his life and she fails to realize that he has accomplished all he has because of her. All the people that have shaped Holden and Gatsby are unaware that their actions can break the illusion an in instant and that they are what holds these men together as people. Gatsby and Holden have the greatest passion and have come so far in life and one person controls theirs fate, existence and sanity which is the irony of the situation.

Holden likes to remember Jane as a sensitive, innocent girl with an odd approach to checkers this helps completes his theory that she is different from other. “... She was terrific to hold hands with. Most girls, if you hold hands with them, their goddam hand dies on you…Jane was different...You never even worried, with Jane, whether your hand was sweaty or not. All you knew was, you were happy. You really were. (Salinger Chpt.11)”.His illusion is broken when she goes out with Stradlater and he makes him think they were doing something. Holden gets a taste of who she really is and not who he has made her out to be. He starts to see that she is just a normal girl and this is one of the steps that lead to his breakdown. The green light at the end of Tom and Daisy’s Dock represents Gatsby illusion, to be with Daisy. The green light symbolizes hope and it also symbolizes the fact that he is so close yet so far away (across the lake) from his ideal having a future with daisy. “"Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever.... Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one (Fitzgerald 98).” "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion" (Fitzgerald 101). Gatsby soon realizes (although he doesn’t want to admit it) that he had to let go of the ideal of daisy because it’s not who she is anymore when he used to know her.

Towards the end both characters realize that they cannot



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